Graham Allison's book Essence of Decision changed the way in which academic analysts think about how governments make major foreign and defense policy decisions.1 Before Allison's book appeared in 1971, even the leading writers on foreign policy tended to describe and explain governmental decisions almost exclusively as if governments were rational human beings making carefully considered choices among available options. This book applies the Allisonian framework to the response of the United States government to a private arms control initiative undertaken in 1986 by the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental organization.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- The Mystery Propounded -- Model I: The Rational, National Government -- Model II: Laws and Procedures -- Model III: The Human Element -- The Mystery "Explained" -- The NRDC Project: A Postscript
Philip G. Schrag is the Delaney Family Professor of Public Interest Law and Director of the Center for Applied Legal Studies at Georgetown University Law Center.